The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in the countries where the practice is concentrated. An estimated 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM mutilation every year and the majority of girls are cut before they turn 15 years old.
Female genital mutilation has been documented in 30 countries, mainly in Africa, as well as in the Middle East and Asia. Some forms of FGM have also been reported in other countries, including among certain ethnic groups in South America. Growing migration and the refugee diaspora has also recently increased the number of girls and women living outside their country of origin who have undergone FGM or who may be at risk of being subjected to the practice in countries such as Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.
The type of FGM performed varies with ethnic group. Current WHO estimates indicate that around 90% of FGM cases include either Types I, II or IV and about 10% (over 8 million women) have Type III (infibulation). Infibulation, which is the most severe form of FGM with a higher rate of complications, is mostly practiced in the north-eastern region of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan and is practised among as many as 90% of women from some of these countries
Source: Population Reference Bureau (2014). Female Genital Mutilation/cutting: Data and Trends.
Source: UNICEF 2014